Have we got the answer to urban living when we solve the huge losses of hedgehogs in suburban neighbourhoods? The adoption of wild roofs and city ecoscapes in general brings some species to the new city. We have forgotten some animals that might just help clear the pests from our gardens or maintain plants and birdlife in some ways that we have found impossible. Natural habitat has been replaced largely with novel human solutions that need time to prove themselves. Emotionally, many would give the hedgehog their garden-vote, but the population has decreased so much, it could be too late to bring them back.
The songs are what makes all of these songbird species stand out, just as we tend to appreciate many other species, including rock stars, who can amuse us with the noises they emit!
The worrying distribution of Atlantic puffin, the decrease in other seabird populations as their food supplies disappear, and the need for conservation as global warming bites they all need studies like this to discover how our wildlife is coping with change.
We dont know whether captive breeding or supplementary feeding should be the answer for what has been a successful programme for the bearded vulture or lammergeier. The answer is in this paper which tries to establish exactly how the future should be for this unique species, in both Europe and Central Asia.
It is impossible to judge exactly how global warming will affect all of us. This includes remote populations of plants and animals, many of which could be important in predicting how climate is changing. We now know just how complex the rainfall, the temperatures, the sea ice and the desertification can become.
The joy of mutualism is in forever finding new connections although in this case, we should have listened to the seers at least as long ago as 1653. Many crows and their relatives hoard food n activity known as scatter-hoarding. Even the giant of the family, the raven, has been recorded as encouraging the limited tree growth in isolated patches of almost-Arctic Shetland. No wonder the Norse regarded the species as among the gods.
Most recent among a mass of work appearing on dolphin and whale society alongside the equivalent in birds and primates, among many others, the language of sperm whales could well be translated soon as a fascinating set of clan chats.
How can Paris and its future effects have anything to do with our endangered large birds and mammals? The answer is in a clever paper today that explains why we are losing even more of our forests than we thought. Preserve our fauna, our flora, their habitats and the niches they conserve and we will see more trees and animals that these ecosystems desperately need.
Conservation is not only about the big animals. The plants, their consumers and the rest of an ecosystem may not catch headlines, but involving them and indigenous populations is crucial to our last ditch efforts to keep these organisms alive in their habitat.
While plastic and chemicals destroys turtles at sea, the nesting sites are receiving much more care now to ensure the rarest species can still slowly reproduce. There are officially none more cared-for than Jumby Bay on an island off Antigua. The private island situation helps, but any extra aid has to count with all critically endangered species that we so often have to save from extinction.
Many levers have been tried in establishing conservation aims. This series of really cold swims will test to see if the Antarctic can be maintained as a pollution and overfishing-free zone. That is certainly the way it should remain, but greed can always be counted as a major factor in human affairs.
While many of our articles concentrate on raptors or rare species, the birds we look at tend to
duck the more obvious species of waterfowl. In the case of the beautiful smew, a lot of work has gone into investigating every country it migrates through on its long journey across Eurasia. Gathered together by Diego Pavon-Jordan from the Finnish Museum of Natural History and NOWAC, this ornithological group have established valid links between global warming and a switch in an animals habits of migration.
Any obsessions we have with our own cats, birds, dogs, pigs, horses or whatever stems from long-established traits in ourselves, but the elucidation of how the animal species were adapted is just as intriguing. Here is a great story on how the horse became what it is today - a simple hobby with negative aspects to its breeding and shapes to match human fancy. But what a story from history of deals, war-horses, ancient chariot uses and the complete history of recent agriculture and transport - and thats just a start!
When the birds' success is measured, it appears as a fairy tale of opportunity as the dinosaur niches became vacant. They grabbed it with both claws and pecked their way to the top-flight!
In racial discrimination, we have problems, but in birds it is all about the mating prospects of similar individuals. In this case, the stonechat has already successfully colonised many parts of the Old World over millions of years. Here is an insight into evolution of the song and the bird as it continues the selection and the speciations that have made it successful for so long. The nightingale is mentioned as a plastic song
The ostrich and the quail were used here to check out how a bipedal animal (like ourselves) can be run in an optimised way over rough ground. Of course, the birds and the average human may not be interested in their own evolution of gaits, but engineers have strange deluded ideas of fantastical robots that can operate in theatres we can only dream of.
The wonder of bird migration takes a long while to sink in. Perhaps its the payload, but tiny birds still seem able to amaze us with their ability to fly thousands of kilometres (or even miles.) This is a unique Australian endemic bird that seems able to detect water a great distances, possibly by smell of desert, air, their brine shrimp food or other olfaction.
The evolutionary relationships between organisms are endless, while some stand out as truly incredible. For 10 million years, mountains have moved and bills have been paid as pollination was accomplished by bat, bee and bird
Flight in our birds and bats is an interesting process as well as a part of life that we always seem to want to emulate. Avoiding obstacles within a flock, or negotiating forests is an area we need to study for our own needs, even if we simply use it for in-flight entertainment. The serious use of bird mechanisms for various aircraft such as drones is always likely as robotic systems develop.
The mammals and the birds are in competition. How many species will we find that can understand tool-using concepts, and then socially interact with their uses?
The sale of the most remarkable egg ever known is about to take place. Your local museum may not be able to attract the visitors it would like for a simple egg, but the imagination runs wild at the ancient world this egg would have hatched into!
The white-tailed eagle, the dormouse and the large blue butterfly are all threatened. But not by extinction. The threat comes from ill-equipped government who are going to cling to a list of alien plants and animals that is so far out-of-date, Darwin would have laughed. People would then be allowed to exterminate species like this on their land.
The Antarctic is, or was, the unspoilt continent. To preserve some of its pristine condition, it should be quite easy to keep the oil, the mining the fishing and, most of all, the greed at arms length. For the sake of penguins and healthy, sustainable fish stocks, we have to start this difficult process.
The giant penguins are on the march. There are now several recognised species, each with a different niche connected with the food-rich Antarctic seas. The newest species benefits from having more fossil remains than most, so we can hope to see more remains in the future, giving us better ideas on how these amazing birds looked, evolved and why they died out, millions of years ago.
It isn't just us who suffer badly from climate change and global warming. Although some species are thriving, many, such as the emperor penguin, are subject, both now and in the near future to multiple threats, leading to their extinction.
Personality in great tits stretches as far as deciding whether to risk your life for your eggs. Would you go back home if somebody seems to threaten your cosy little nest in some unknown way? Insights into survival, evolution of boldness, domesticity and even our own reactions to stress can be found here!
Among the most intricate displays of courtship in any species, the bower birds have intrigued us for centuries. Finally, we may be getting close to a full understanding of how such glorious behaviours work and how they came about!
How did social behaviour evolve, and why do we see it in so many animals, no matter what level of taxonomy they are found? Spiders, sticklebacks and insects, birds, mammals and reptiles are all involved in complex social interaction.
When we study insects and birds in the air, or other animals in water, the interest often lies in how they can change their locomotive effort in order to counteract wind or currents. The use of computer modelling can also add the extra benefit of prediction of movement under various conditions.
When is an alien species really alien? Maybe only when it is a critical danger to another species. A new book from a popular author puts forward persuasive and alarming arguments. Camels, eagles, snakes, spiders and influenza virus, wrapped up in invasive packaging.
Animals of unfamiliar as well as familiar types took up niches in the ancient ecosystems, as birds and mammals developed and, of course, feathered dinosaurs ruled the roost!
Far away in the Antarctic, life for the albatross is hard. Fishing vessels are sources of food, but the prime fishing is found in productive shallow seas near islands. The personalities of these birds have always been intriguing, and now we have a start on discovering more about their lives.
From humming birds to eagles, the birds have diversified their niches worldwide. Their genome however is reduced compared to us earthbound creatures!
Ways to improve our environment vary from cutting everything down to leaving corridors for animals and plants to penetrate. This study recommends really trying to encourage riverside vegetation. It achieves the complexity that we miss so often in anthropogenic landscapes.
Fish diversify into thousands of species, especially cichlids in African lakes. Mammals and birds can show equal diversity sometimes, so it would be intriguing to find more vertebrate classes subjected to investigations such as these, proving some genetic matches for lost and current animals we want to know more about.
Birds are known for putting a lot of effort into their mating displays. In the tropics however, energy is at a premium, and sexual selection has been known to be more or less illogical in the abnormal effects it has on male display!
When will the bees and other helpful insects be protected in the same way as (some) mammals and birds? It's obvious that the fruit industries will collapse without them, so for the most selfish of reasons, we know we have to try and preserve these species. Unfortunately, there are always those who suffer from short sight, or simply greed for bigger and bigger short-term profits.
The wonder of a beautiful sea monster is never lost, but while some species like the great leatherback turtle have varying fortunes, many birds and others are in the process of disappearing for ever.
We normally regard Batesian mimics as butterflies that pretend to be poisonous, or even snakes. The cuckoo now reveals its subtle disguise as a dangerous predator of small birds, but of course, it's fooling these small birds into letting it lay an egg in their nest.
This large hummingbird seems able to be a song-writer as well as a songster.With detailed examination of its song with the latest instruments, we can now say those abilities are equivalent to the brainy parrots!
One of the oddest of the exotic birds from that wonderland called New Zealand, this little spotted kiwi has been conserved for over a century. However, because of the lack of diversity within its genome, it may yet face extincton in the future.
The North American fossils of humming birds are rare compared to other continents. This fossil is early and provides lots of information relevant to swifts and humming birds.
Bill size has been investigated in these tunesmiths, with findings proving fruitful for evolutionary theorists. The birds themselves have bigger beak differences on more southerly islands!
In Puerto Rico, near one of the leatherback turtles nesting areas in the southern Caribbean and northern South America, the conservation battle has raged long and often.
The way in which we have allowed concerns about neonicotinoid insecticides to go unnoticed is parallel to the Silent Spring ignorance that reigned supreme for Rachel Carson.
The South Island and North Island robins of New Zealand are small birds that evolved from Australian ancestors when they reached the distant islands.
Do lots of packs of wolves exist in an ideal habitat, with fewer wolves away from this centre of a geographical area?
Kim Wonjung and his colleagues at MIT, in the US, have worked out how the tongue of the hummingbird can achieve a capillary action.
New study on Gouldian finches. Your colour, your size and your song are what matters if you are a bird choosing a mate. In a polymorphic species, where several colour variations exist side-by-side, mates are chosen often because they match the chooser.
David Cameron. It's make-your-mind-up-time. The RSPB, WWF and FOE are jointly fighting the British government's failure to check fracking's (hydraulic fracturing's) environmental impact and health and safety issues.
A new study into African Grey parrot intelligence using acoustic association. While several animals now appear to almost equal the apes in intelligence, conclusive proof was needed.
Far from being random, extinction of organisms is often biased. New research done in New Zealand shows that as the type of threat changes, patterns of extinction change dramatically over time.
How do hummingbirds cope with flying in the rain? Anna's hummingbirds, under 4 regimes of rain, seem to retain their composure, and more importantly, stability, much better than you would expect.
An aerial survey estimates there are 1,457 active bald eagle nests in Florida - up 9% over the last four years.
Celebrating Bald Eagle population recovery. American Eagle Day is being celebrated on 20 June to help protect the species and educate people about the American Eagle and its symbolism to the USA.
The ZZW hen is female to start with but develops male characteristics and produces no fertile gametes (eggs OR sperm). Except that is for the ZZW Kentish plover, noted in the study of sex determination in birds.
Migrating golden eagles use thermals and wind when flying to conserve energy. Wind farm developments have an impact on soaring bird species as a study on movements of golden eagles in flight shows.
Great tits and other small birds sometimes join forces and 'mob' any potential predator to keep them away from their nests. A new study shows that nesting great tits join their neighbours in mobbing predators, but only if they are familiar with them from the year before. Different birds are treated differently depending on their familiarity with others.
Peregrine falcon and osprey lay eggs in Scotland. Lady of the Loch (and partner) plus a pair of Peregrine falcons have laid eggs confirmed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust.
Bird deaths associated with wind turbines. Mortality estimates have varied widely and a study looks at what effect wind farm construction has on birds and why.
An osprey, known as The Lady of the Loch has just returned to her nest in Scotland from Africa. Also in Britain, the 2012 RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch results have been published.
Restaurants for vultures? To help save and conserve endangered vultures in India, vulture feeding areas have been started. Vulture populations in India have fallen dramatically over the last two of decades.
A new collaborative report has been compiled to help promote offshore renewable energy developments in New York State, while protecting fish and birdlife.
A new study shows how Eurasian roller nestlings respond to fear and threat of predation by vomiting. Blue roller nestlings vomit informs parent birds that they have been attacked or fear they will be.
The sub-Antarctic islands hold large populations of king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) but Crozet Island king penguins have been reproducing less successfully, possibly associated with warming conditions.
Years after a fossilised penguin skeleton was found in New Zealand, scientists say it belonged to possibly the tallest ever prehistoric penguin; Kairuku grebneffi stood almost five feet tall.
Macquarie Island was used as a penguin blubber oil extraction site. Efforts by conservationists have helped King Penguin populations recover in both number and genetic diversity. The Macquarie Island ghosts of the King Penguin.
A new study researching the effects of human based noise on nestling birds has just been published. Tree swallows for example can be subject to human-generated noise in cities.
The tiny wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe) migration ranges far and wide across the Palaearctic. Because of this complete northern distribution, it has proved impossible so far to prove where the American populations over-winter.
A study has found that native UK ladybirds are declining as the invasive harlequin ladybird species spreads across Europe.
Mammals, birds, amphibians and many other groups are exposed to development or climate change threats in isolated parts of the Andes in Amazonian Peru and Bolivia.
The Big Garden Birdwatch is back. The RSPB is also launching a schools backed bird watch for all children (and adults).
Whether pollution or simply habitat loss is responsible for almost the last spoon-billed sandpiper has yet to be investigated. The sooner we find ways of preserving in order to conserve, the better!
A mini-submarine, shaped like a penguin, has been created by a German university team to dive 6,000 metres and locate amazing deep-sea creatures and valuable raw materials.
Tool using has now been observed in several species since the chimpanzee showed us that we are not alone in the use of implements. The New Caledonian crow has joined the rook, the Eurasian jay and the Egyptian vulture in the bird tool users club.
Using satellites, American researchers have mapped changes to forests and made plans to save the Kirtland's warbler, a bird that was in danger of vanishing in the 1960s.
Conservation group brings 13 endangered spoon-billed sandpipers from Russia to Britain to start a captive breeding programme.
For four years in May, in a Berlin park, twelve 1-year-old and twelve older nightingales were played (nightingale) songs to determine how they reacted to common songs and different repertoires. The effort was worthwhile in many ways, especially in suggesting ways that birds can relate to competing males and the 'choosy' females.
Chacma baboons of Namibia, exist in small social stable groups on cliff top nesting sites in Tsaobis Leopard Park and so, unlike insects, schooling fish or other sociable creatures, it may not have organised instincts to coordinate its group movement.
MIT mathematicians delved into the arena of biology recently to explore optimization in nature. It turns out, bees are 'dippers' who feed by probing flowers with their tongues. For them, a thicker, sweeter fluid is best. But birds and butterflies draw nectar through thin tubes, and that's easier when flowers supply a thinner, less sugary fluid.
Nazca Boobies, related to other ocean travellers such as the famous wandering albatross, live in the Galapagos. Unfortunately, parents have to leave nestlings frequently to fish long-distance. On the islands, such as this booby colony on Isla Espanola, there is an intense interest by certain adults in unrelated chicks, especially when its parents are necessarily absent for long periods.
Birds and humans are related, but most people would regard that relationship as you would a distant cousin you don't talk about any more. Singing is a different kettle of fish, it seems. While common patterns in music include phrases that rise then descend (melodic arches), or just have their final note elongated, constraints on the vocal system are likely to have affected them.
This week the cost of development coming home to roost, literally, with the sky falling down, smoggiest levels for five years in the US and northern birds. One of several issues covered in our weekly roundup of environmental news up to 23rd September 2011.
New research shows for the first time that penguins use scent to tell one another apart and avoid interbreeding. Scientists at the University of Chicago and the Chicago Zoological Society report that penguins use a highly-developed sense of smell to identify their kin, thus avoiding interbreeding with relatives.
Intriguing research published in Science today has uncovered the details of the fluttering sound-scaping used by male hummingbirds, as part of the dramatic diving displays, given to impress watching females. The tones produced by feather-fanning are more complex than first thought, and are distinct for each humming bird species, say the researchers.
A paper out in Science suggests that both conservation and farming could benefit by living separately - while still being good neighbors. Sharing the same land in a more mixed landscape, by contrast, appears to leave wildlife and food harvests worse off in the long run, the team from the University of Cambridge and the RSPB conclude.
Bushy Point Fernbirds Bed and Breakfast is unique in southern New Zealand. A private reserve secluded on 5 ha, Bushy Point Fernbirds is actually part of a larger public reserve and a Ramsar wetland of international importance, legally protected in perpetuity with a QEII open space covenant.
RSPB website follows one of Britain's favourite birds on a perilous journey. Ospreys migrate to Africa for the winter, returning in the spring, and this hazardous journey can now be analysed as some birds have been fitted with satellite tracking by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).
The Common Agricultural Policy needs reform if declines in farmland bird species are to be halted says the RSPB. The Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme surveyed 145 common European bird species in 25 countries between 1980 and 2009 and farmland birds were the most at risk species with their numbers at an all time low.
Stressful conditions in early life can lead to a shortened life span in birds. Could the same be true in humans? Studying Zebra finches, researchers from the University of Glasgow saw that when glucocorticoid stress hormones were elevated early in life, the birds exhibited increased stress sensitivity in adult life and a reduced lifespan as a result.
A penguin found thousands of miles off course in New Zealand will be tracked online as he returns to the deep south. 'Happy Feet', a juvenile Emperor Penguin, was washed up on Peka Peka beach close to Wellington in June, around 3,000 miles from where he should have been.
The Audubon Hog Island Camp celebrates its 75th year on August 20. The camp is held to educate children, adults and families about birds as well as the environment in general. First held in 1936, the camp is held to educate children, adults and families about birds, conservation and the environment in general.
While some campaigners against wind farms focus on birds killed by rotating turbines, new Dutch research suggests that offshore wind farms can in fact be a relatively benign influence on habitats providing shelter for many species in busy waters.
Scientists looking at the sex lives of birds have concluded that attracting members of the opposite sex through mating rituals could cause males to age faster. The scientists put forward the theory that because the birds lived in a habitat with many predators, they evolved a mechanism by which they put more energy into mating in early life - a form of biological trade-off that resulted in premature aging.
A survey has been launched to identify the best rivers in the UK for wildlife, with support coming from a wide range of environmentalists including television broadcaster Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. The Our Rivers campaign, run by WWF, the RSPB, the Angling Trust and the Salmon & Trout Association, aims to assess the damage done to wildlife by the poor state of many rivers.
Rats to be eradicated from unique bird sanctuary in remote part of the globe. Britain's Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) in partnership with the US Fish & Wildlife Service and other nature conservancy projects is funding a world-leading mission to Henderson Island in the Pitcairn Islands.
Central London's birding expert talks conservation, kestrels and keeping the public happy as he takes The Earth Times on a wildlife-themed tour of Regent's Park. Arguably the last place you'd think of if you were asked to name London's top havens for birds but the figures don't lie: last year alone, some 124 species of birds were spotted either just feeding or nesting in the Royal Park, among them ospreys, little owls common terns and peregrine falcons.
Careful location of renewable energy developments may reduce impacts on birds and bats. Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI) has established a new wildlife and renewable energy program to study and understand the movements of birds and bats and to assess the potential interactions between energy facilities and wildlife.
The tragic loss of biodiversity from rainforest destruction can be reversed, says a study just published on PLoS ONE, which recorded a return of tropical birds to parts of the Amazon previously felled. The fragments of Brazilian rainforest that recovered their brightly-colored birds were the larger of those left by the loggers - aided by the regrowth of secondary forest.
Penguin found washed up on New Zealand's coast could be released into wild or kept in captivity. The fate of a juvenile Emperor Penguin found washed up on a New Zealand beach has gripped the country and its media.
Flowers need bees and birds and bees and many species of birds need flowers, but as global warming changes the flowering calendar of mountain plants, this symbiotic relationship could fail disastrously for both parties.
An old tree can support dozens of different nesting animals and birds who don't have the woodpecker's powers. Trees are a good thing for the environment right? Well, yes, but replacing old with new is bad news for a multitude of creatures that rely on the ravages of time to help them make a home in the trees.
With the bushmeat trade growing annually, experts recognise that innovative solutions are required to halt this illegal activity. Commercial trading in bushmeat - the meat and other parts of wild mammals, birds and reptiles - is a highly lucrative industry, particularly prevalent in central Africa. Bushmeat trading is on the rise within many central African countries
The numbers of albatross and other sea-birds drowning after being snared by longline fishing hooks is three times higher than thought - at 300,000 per year. The new number in a study published in Endangered Species Research, is all the more shocking because measures to make longline fishing safe have been proven to work.
This year's update to the Red List of Threatened Species says that some of the largest species of bird in the world are close to extinction. The update has also resulted in the threat level for the Great Indian Bustard being upgraded to Critically Endangered, the highest level of threat.
Can a rescue team of conservationists save Critically Endangered sandpiper? Spoon-billed sandpipers are well-camouflaged amongst their tundra habitat, with a unique spoon-shaped bill. Breeding in Chukotka in north-eastern Russia, the spoon-billed sandpiper migrates an astonishing 8000 kilometres to over-winter in Southeast Asia.
''Sat-nav'' to be used in new seabird programme to track birds around Europe's Atlantic coastline. The project, known as FAME - the Future of the Atlantic Marine Environment - is tracking the movements of seabirds to pinpoint areas that are important for these ocean travellers. This knowledge should assist the selection of marine protected areas which are vital for the survival of seabird species.
Existing protected areas are inadequate in safeguarding turtles from fishing nets, a new study has found. This is the first comprehensive tracking study of olive ridley turtles during the nesting season, using satellite transmitters to follow 18 female turtles.
''This year's report brings attention to the importance of public lands and waters for conserving America's wildlife and habitats.'' The recent release of the 2011 State of Birds report has given new insight into the welfare of America's bird populations, as well as the status of wildlife and conservation efforts.
50 tonnes of rodenticide spread by helicopter to remove invasive species. South Georgia has been colonised by invasive rodent species. These introduced rodents feed on the eggs and young of ground-nesting native birds, which can offer no resistance. Every year thousands, perhaps millions, of young birds are eaten alive by rats.
We are all becoming more aware of the need to consider the environment in our everyday lives, and this includes our family pets. In recent years there has been a surge in the number of eco-friendly products dedicated to helping people 'green' the lives of their dogs, cats, birds and a whole host of other pets.
An experimental study on greenfinch personality has shown that being brave or curious has real biochemical consequences, when it comes to defending against dangerous oxidants. Braver and bolder finches show better antioxidant defenses than more timid and less adventurous birds, says the study in the Journal of Experimental Biology.
In a wildlife spectacle, a massive aggregation of over 300 humpback whales followed the biggest swarm of Antarctic krill seen in twenty years into bays in the Western Antarctic peninsula. The humpbacks were gorging on swarms of the tiny shrimp-like crustaceans. Almost all life in the Southern Ocean is ultimately dependent on the protein-rich crustaceans, from seabirds, seals and penguins, to the filter feeding whales.
The government announces measures to kill the non-native species that is becoming a pest. The UK government is to remove a species of parakeet from the British countryside because it poses a threat to crops, electricity grids and native birds.
Scientists have discovered flame retardant chemicals in peregrine falcon eggs. The study looked at eggs that had failed to hatch in falcon nests around Spain and Canada, including the Great Lakes Region. It was discovered that the levels of chemical compounds were higher in the eggs of birds living in coastal environments.
That omen of goodwill or ill, the albatross, is itself suffering from misfortune, as a result of man's continued emitting of toxic mercury compounds. These have been shown, in new research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, to be accumulating in higher amounts in top predators such as albatrosses. This could threaten their survival, by reducing their reproductive success rates, says the analysis of bird feathers collected over the last century.
A colony of endangered Northern Rockhopper penguins is facing a grim future after a ship grounded on an important breeding island in the South Atlantic Ocean. The remoteness of the Tristan islands and the fact that there is no air field on any of the islands has caused major headaches for the oil spill management efforts.
Is brighter better? It is for ducks! How do you know how to pick a mate? Best body? Big car? Lots of money? Female mallards have their own unique way of determining which mate they should choose. Females of all species want to pick the best father for their offspring. This is the male with the best genes, who will produce successful, healthy children.
Antarctic penguin numbers have more than halved since the 1980's, in tandem with their favourite food. Krill densities are down almost 80%, largely due to climate change reducing winter ice cover in this fast-warming region.
'Naked' chicks are suddenly appearing in penguin colonies in South Africa and Argentina, leaving scientists perplexed. The bald penguin chicks have a condition called feather-loss disorder. Although all penguins are born with downy feathers, some chicks inexplicably 'moult' their down before their adult feathers arrive, leaving them temporarily bald.
Research paper in the Journal for Avian Biology studies how different coloured feathers can suggest different health levels amongst urban pigeons. A study of pigeons in the centre of Pairs has discovered birds with darker feathers are healthier, have stronger immune systems and are more attractive to the opposite sex than their lighter coloured counterparts.
Though sparrows and starlings are still the most-commonly-seen birds in London, shortages of suitable food and habitat are driving their numbers down, the Earth Times has learned. Alarmingly, in fact, the figures point to a drop of around 50 per cent over the past 15-to-20 years in both sparrow and starling populations in the capital.
Hundreds of thousands of seabirds are dying as a result of being caught in commercial fishing longlines and now a research team may just have the answer to reducing the seabird bycatch. Traditional fisheries bycatch models are based almost entirely upon fixed maps of historic bird migration data and past fishery information and there is no consideration of more dynamic factors.
Small birds come up tops in this year's Big Garden Birdwatch. The latest Big Garden Birdwatch has yet again delivered excellent results about the U.K's garden birds. Over 600,000 people in Britain joined in, noting down information about the birds they had seen in their back gardens; which is a record-breaking number of respondents and makes this the world's biggest bird survey.
Traditional cork bottle stoppers best for biodiversity conservation and economy, according to new study. A new study published in the journal Biological Conservation, proves exactly the opposite, demonstrating that cork extraction is in fact an economic activity that should be promoted for the benefit of biodiversity. The research is the first to look at the impact of cork extraction on biodiversity, using birds as indicators.
Climate change is having a bigger effect than previously thought on bird species. There is no doubt that climate change is affecting many ecological events, such as flowering and reproduction seasons in animals. In the case of birdlife, there is growing evidence that this effect is particularly profound.
With just 125 left on one island, the fight to save the Tuamotu Kingfisher is an uphill struggle for scientists despite the backing of local farmers. With bright blue feathers, an orange head a green black the Tuamotu Kingfisher is quite an eye-catcher, but with just 125 of them left on one last Pacific island seeing one was going to be a thing of the past without intervention.
The wreckage of a cargo vessel that has grounded off a South Atlantic Island is causing an impending environmental disaster, threatening one of the world's most endangered penguins. 1500 tonnes of heavy crude oil has spilled into the sea.
Genetic analysis confirms the world's rarest albatross is a separate species. The Amsterdam albatross is classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. It is an extremely large albatross that breeds only on Amsterdam Island in the southern Indian Ocean, where its total population is made up of just 130 individuals. The Amsterdam albatross's breeding range is restricted further still, to a single area of the island known as the Plateau des Tourbieres.
Zoos around the world are being asked to team up to shelter and breed endangered animals as a form of biodiversity insurance. The research found that between 20 and 25 percent of endangered species of mammals are already kept at the zoos and just a slightly lower figure for birds. However, the concern is that the species that are facing an acute risk of extinction are not so well represented.
An increase in the numbers of birds of prey killed in Scotland leads to the government to take action. Figures releases showing hotspots of the birds killed by poisonous chemicals reveal last year seven red kites and four golden eagles were killed. A sea eagle, brought to Scotland as part of a reintroduction programme was killed in the last twelve months.
For the native birds of the Everglades, keeping an eye out for pythons is an increasing preoccupation. The burgeoning population of snakes, descended from pet-escapees, is seen as an increasing threat to some of the endangered species of Florida's National Park, says a study published in this month's BioOne. Filed in environmental isssues: florida/snakes/nature.
Spring is sprung, the grass is green and a 60 year old albatross has a new addition to her brood! At 60 years old, Wisdom, a Laysan albatross, is the oldest wild bird known in the U.S. First recorded in 1956 as she incubated an egg, Wisdom has seen it all - from the first man on the moon, to the fall of the Berlin Wall and beyond. Filed under environmental issues: Wildlife/Nature.
Getting past media sensationalism to discover the real causes of mass animal death. Since last December when 83,000 Drum fish were washed up in Arkansas and thousands of blackbirds fell dead just 100km away in the town of Beebe, the world media has been full of reports of mass animal deaths. Journalists have gone as far as to nickname the phenomena 'aflockalypse'.
Conservationists may be better placed to aid eastern imperial eagles, thanks to new genetic sampling work described in a paper in Animal Conservation. By genetic profiling of feathers found in a Kazakh nature reserve, they have doubled the known number of imperial eagles at the site - and marked it as an additional focus for those seeking to safeguard these majestic birds.
Discusses the problem of plastic 'islands' in the ocean and what we can do to correct it. It is a tragic fact the Atlantic has large amounts of plastic contamination which is cluttering up the ocean and causing problems with sea life and marine birds. The plastic containers come in all shapes and sizes take practically forever to biodegrade due to their chemical makeup
Colombian rainforests under threat due to an increase in production of coca to meet world demand for cocaine. More than 1,821 species of birds, 623 species of amphibians, 467 species of mammals, 518 species of reptiles and 3,200 species of fish are found, mainly in the country's vast tracts of tropical forest.
The migratory map of Africa is tipped to change significantly over the next few decades as birds react to the effects of climate change. The Finnish ornithologist Johannes Leche is widely credited with undertaking the first proper study of the migratory patterns of birds, with his pioneering work in the mid-18th century based largely upon the technique of ringing individual animals.
Countries will have to improve their co-operation if they are to protect endangered wildlife in an age of climate change, according to an international study. A team of scientists have come up with a conservation index designed to help policy-makers to deal with the effects of climate change on birds in Africa, the theory of which could help governments across the world as climate change forces species to move to new areas.
A handful of unremarkable spots are serving as valuable refuges for England's rarest species, a new report has revealed. England's rarest species of animals are not majestic eagles or regal deer, nor are the country's most important natural sites to be found in any of the popular National Parks. Instead, the rarest plants and animals are to be found - usually with a magnifying glass - in some of less presupposing parts of this green and pleasant land.
Once extinct in the UK, the great bustard looks on the verge of a remarkable comeback, thanks to a new injection of funding from the European Union. It was way back in 1832 that the great bustard finally went the way of the dodo and disappeared from the British Isles. Over-zealous gamekeepers and hunters, combined with a loss of habitat also led to the disappearance of the world's biggest flying bird from several other European countries.
Franco-Austrian study indicates that stressed female birds can lay eggs that produce stressed chicks. The debate between nature and nurture first began in the mid-19th century when Charles Darwin's cousin, Francis Galton raised the question of whether hereditary or environmental factors were the prime influences with respect to social advancement.
One species of Australian bird, the silvereye, has been found to change its songs to compensate for lound traffic noise in urban areas. Some Australian birds are learning to shout to make themselves heard above traffic noise. The silvereye in urban environments have been found to sing higher-pitched but slower songs than those in rural areas.
A three-year dip in Bering Sea temperature has caused a change in the distribution of the staple food of pollock. The Bering Sea is considered to be one of the world's most productive fisheries and its northern portions are the home of sea ducks, grey whales, bearded seals and walruses, but a 30-year warming trend has been bad news for those animals that are adapted to a cold-water environment, causing them to migrate further north.
The state of Arkansas is ringing in New Year in a very peculiar way. On New Year's Eve 2000 birds fell dead out of the sky and in another incident last week, thousands of fish washed up dead on the shores of the Arkansas River. Officers are saying its disease and not really pollution but environmentalists are saying pollutions and the use of fireworks could be the cause.
Scientists till date have had only limited success to re-establish breeding populations of bald eagles on the Channel Islands off the Southern California coast that disappeared thanks to indiscriminate use of DDT.
For the first time in Peru, conservationists have purchased privately owned lands within a national protected area and then donated them to the national government. The donated lands are home to the Iquitos Gnatcatcher, a Critically Endangered bird first described in 2005. Actvists have hailed the move which they say will allow better conservation of this threatened species.
The short-tailed albatross whose adult population number only about 3,000 were till recently found only on the Japanese islands of Kure Atoll and on Midway Atoll. Now they have spotted on the Hawaiian Islands. In a report the Seabird Program at the American Bird Conservancy, a US based conservation organization, says, this raises hopes that this once endangered bird might be gaining in numbers.